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McCaul: Suspected Chinese spy balloon ‘did a lot of damage’

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said the suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina earlier this month “did a lot of damage” after flying over a number of highly sensitive U.S. intelligence and military sites.

McCaul, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, split with defense and intelligence officials who have said the U.S. mitigated the amount of information that could have been picked up by the Chinese balloon. McCaul said the flight path of the balloon, which flew over nuclear sites and military infrastructure, made clear the type of information that China was trying to acquire.

“It did a lot of damage,” McCaul said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “They say they’ve mitigated it. Going over those sites, in my judgment, would cause great damage.”

McCaul’s assessment of the effectiveness of the suspected Chinese spy balloon comes as the U.S. shot down even more unidentified objects over U.S. and Canadian airspace in recent days. It is unclear whether those objects were balloons or what their origin was.

“A balloon can see a lot more on the ground than a satellite,” McCaul said on Sunday.

McCaul also said he will work in Congress to ban the sale of technology to China that the country can then use for its most advanced weapon and surveillance systems. Republicans have been critical of the Biden administration in the aftermath of the balloon incident, accusing the president of not being tough enough on one of the U.S.’s top global adversaries.

Tags Chinese spy balloon Michael McCaul Michael McCaul republicans

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